Bible Studies, Messages, Papers

Illuminated manuscripts of the Irish Book of Kells, believed to date to circa 800 AD, widely regarded to be Ireland's finest national treasure. Pictured are the first page of the Gospel of Luke (left), and a portrait of Christ enthroned (right). The Book of Kells is a Latin translation of the Four Gospels with various prefaces and tables. It takes its name from the Abbey of Kells, which was its home for centuries.  Photo credit: (left and right) Treasures of Irish Art | Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons.


bible studies and messages from the anastasis center: luke - acts

Below are small group leader notes, sermons, and exegetical notes on the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.

We make the best of modern biblical scholarship, along with early Christian exegesis, relevant and practical.

Messages on Luke - Acts

Luke 3:1 - 20 Get Ready to Meet the King

Luke 5:1 - 11 Jesus Makes Us Kingdom Builders

Luke 5:12 - 16 The Touch of Jesus

Luke 6:1 - 11 Jesus Completes Us

Luke 6:27 - 36 Jesus' Radical Ethics: Generosity, not Hoarding

Luke 7:1 - 10 The Power of Jesus’ Word

Luke 8:26 - 39 Listening to Too Many Voices

Luke 8:40 - 56 A Tale of Two Daughters

Luke 9:51 - 62 Jesus First! 

Luke 11:1 - 13 The Father's Eagerness to Answer Our Prayers

Luke 11:1 - 13 How the Father Gives (BC 2015)

Luke 12:13 - 34 Kingdom Significance, not Security

Luke 13:17 - 21 The Kingdom You No Longer Want (and ppts) a sermon given on August 13, 2017, one day after the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia

Luke 14:1 - 11 This Party Isn't About You

Luke 14:12 - 14 The Importance of Being Inclusive

Luke 14:15 - 35 The Party You Don't Want to Miss

Luke 15:1 - 10 Rejoicing, not Grumbling, at Outreach

Luke 15:11 - 32 A Tale of Two Sons

Luke 15:11 - 32 How the Father Looks (BC 2015)

Luke 19:1 - 10 Racism, Wealth, and Power

Luke 24:13 - 53 Tell the Jesus Story

Acts 3:1 - 10 What To Do With a Harvard Education

Acts 3:11 - 4:12 A Resurrected Jesus in the Midst of Dead Heroes

Acts 10 - 11 The Outreach to the Gentiles Begins

Acts 17:15 - 34 The God People Have Already Experienced

Acts 17:15 - 34 The Engagement of Stories

Acts 17:15 - 34 The Rehumanization of Humanity

Acts 19:1 - 41 The Gospel Divides Ephesus

Thematic Study The Holy Spirit and Speech: Having Something to Say (ppt)

Thematic Study The Theme of Eating: Return to the Banquet Table

Small Group Leader Notes on Luke - Acts: A Sequential Approach

Luke 3:1 - 20 Prepare to Meet the King

Luke 3:21 - 4:13 Jesus the New Human Being

Luke 4:14 - 30 The First Synagogue Rejection: Enemies?

Luke 4:31 - 44 The Second Synagogue Rejection: Others?

Luke 4:14 - 44 Two Ways to Reject Jesus

Luke 5:1 - 16 The Two Who Fell at Jesus' Feet

Luke 5:17 - 32 The Two Who Rose at Jesus' Call

Luke 5:27 - 39 The Two Responses to Jesus' Healing Humanity

Luke 6:1 - 11 The Two Signs that Jesus Completes Humanity

Luke 6:12 - 36 Jesus' Definition of Blessedness: Loving Others

Luke 6:37 - 49 Jesus' Definition of Blessedness: Healing, not Judging

Luke 7:1 - 17 The Power of Jesus' Word and the Two Who Escaped Death

Luke 7:18 - 35 Two Responses to Jesus' Kingdom

Luke 7:36 - 50 The Two Party Hosts: Two Responses to Jesus' Forgiveness

Luke 8:1 - 21 What Type of Heart Do You Have?

Luke 8:22 - 25 Jesus Crosses the Sea, Calms the Storm

Luke 8:26 - 39 The Liberation of the Demoniac:  Listening to Too Many Voices

Luke 8:40 - 56 A Tale of Two Daughters

Luke 9:1 - 17 A Taste of Kingdom Mission and Responsibility

Luke 9:18 - 50 Who Do You Say Jesus Is?

Luke 9:51 - 62 Jesus Recruits for the Second Sending

Luke 10:1 - 24 The Mission of the Seventy

Luke 10:25 - 42 Jesus' Redefining of Loving Neighbor, Loving God

Luke 10:25 - 37 Jesus' Path to Eternal Life

Luke 10:38 - 42 A Tale of Two Sisters

Luke 11:1 - 13 The Prayers God Answers, Part 1:  For Others and for the Spirit

Luke 11:14 - 32 How Jesus Authenticates Himself

Luke 11:33 - 54 Jesus Claims Your Whole Person, Inside and Out

Luke 12:1 - 12 The Dangers of Hypocrisy

Luke 12:13 - 34 Jesus' Call to Give Generously

Luke 12:35 - 53 The Coming of the King to His City

Luke 12:54 - 13:9 The City That Resists its King

Luke 13:10 - 35 The Kingdom You No Longer Like, the Capital You'll No Longer Have

Luke 14:1 - 11 Jesus' Vision of the Kingdom Banquet: This Party Isn't About You

Luke 14:12 - 14 Jesus' Vision of the Kingdom Banquet: The Importance of Being Inclusive

Luke 14:15 - 35 Jesus' Vision of the Kingdom Banquet: You Don't Want to Miss this Party

Luke 15:1 - 10 The Two Parables of the Lost Things

Luke 15:11 - 32 The Parable of the Two Lost Sons

Luke 16:1 - 13 How to Use Unrighteous Money: The Servant Jesus Looks For

Luke 16:14 - 31 Rich Man, Poor Man

Luke 17:1 - 10 Jesus' Call to Servanthood

Luke 17:11 - 37 Jesus Predicts the Fall of the Temple

Luke 18:1 - 14 The Prayers God Answers, Part 2: For Vindication and for Humility

Luke 18:15 - 19:10 Rich Man, Rich Man: The Sign of New Birth is Generosity

Luke 19:11 - 27 Jesus' Kingdom Requires Our Investment

Luke 19:28 - 44 The Premature Celebration

Luke 19:45 - 20:19 The Return of the King

Luke 20:20 - 21:4 Jesus Challenged but Triumphant

Luke 21:5 - 38 The Temple's Doom

Luke 22:1 - 30 Jesus Prepares a New Exodus

Luke 22:31 - 24:51 Jesus Divides All Humanity

Luke 22:31 - 62 Seeing Yourself Clearly in the Darkness

Luke 22:63 - 23:25 The Rejection of the King

Luke 23:26 - 24:12 A Light Shines in the Darkness

Luke 24:13 - 53 Tell the Jesus Story!

Thematic Study The Theme of Fire in Luke - Acts

Small Group Leader Notes on Luke - Acts: A Literary and Thematic Approach

Part 1: Hearing and Speaking: Becoming Servants of the Word

Internalizing Jesus' Word: Forming a Spiritual Identity

The Holy Spirit and Speech: Having Something to Say (and ppts)

The Fulfillment of Israel's Scriptures: Telling the Great Story

The Question of Tongues: Struggling for Coherence


Part 2: Reaching All Humanity Across the Divides: Race, Gender, and Wealth

Table Fellowship: Eating Together and Enacting Jesus' Kingdom

Jews and Abraham’s Family: Choosing the Chosen People

Samaritans: Finding a Home for the Marginalized

Gentiles: Embracing the Outsider Community

Women: Women Restored, Women Restoring

The Poor: More Than Just Preaching to Them


Part 3: Dividing All Humanity: Calling for Repentance

The Theme of Fire in Luke - Acts

From Materialism: Gaining What is Truly Valuable

From Traditional Family Values: New Family, New Allegiance

From Blind Spots: Having True Spiritual Sight

From Ethnocentrism:  Weathering Oppression Without Becoming Ethnocentric


Part 4: Jesus and Other Kings: Confronting the Powers

Jesus is Our True King: Confronting Political Powers

Satan and Spiritual Warfare: Confronting Spiritual Powers

Despite Persecution and Conflict: Enduring Hardship

From Jerusalem Outward: Remembering We Are Not the Center  

Notes and Essays on Luke - Acts

The Art of Biblical Narrative: Special Focus on Luke-Acts

The Prophecy of Isaiah in Luke - Acts

Luke’s Literary Engagement with the Old Testament: Intertextuality and Lukan Scholarship

An Exegesis of Luke 16: Literary Analysis and Traditional Exegesis

Luke’s Theme of Wealth: Intertextuality and Christian Ethics (TBD)

Jesus Restores Us to Paradise:  Chiastic Outline of Luke 22 - 24

An Analysis of Water Baptism:  Why Water Baptism is Not Necessary for Salvation

An Experiment in Literary Analysis: Paul's Testimony Told Three Times (TBD)

Books and Articles on the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles

Robert Alter and Frank Kermode, The Literary Guide to the Bible (Amazon book, Sep 1, 1990) and pdf book has helpful insights into the Gospels

Robert Tannehill, The Narrative Unity of Luke-Acts, Volumes 1 and 2 (Amazon book, Sep 1, 1991) and pdf book is an excellent literary treatment of Luke that helps with all narrative, including Matthew

N.T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God (Amazon book, Sep 1992) has valuable historical context, and high level survey of Matthew

Gary Burge, Reading Luke Through Latin-American Eyes (Christianity Today, Apr 16, 2015) an interview with historian Dr. Justo Gonzalez

Kezia, Alternative Nativity (blog, Dec 21, 2015) juxtaposing Gospel birth passages with photographs of Syrian refugees; thought provoking

bible studies and messages from the anastasis center